Boosting Growth and Incomes in India's Agricultural Sector
Despite the rapid growth of the Indian economy in recent years, India's agricultural sector and rural smallholder farmers have faced enormous obstacles to growth. Among the greatest of the challenges farmers face is the lack of access to critical information about crops and market pricing in India's agricultural heartland.
In September 2010, Multi Commodity Exchange of India, or MCX, pledged to help transform the agricultural sector in India by providing as many as 60,000 smallholder farmers with access to information that will allow growers to boost productivity and income. Through its Business Call to Action initiative, MCX will mobilize $950,000 over five years to develop 50 Gramin Suvidha Kendra (GSK), or rural service centers, in various states throughout India. At the rural service centers, farmers will be able to keep abreast of market data, prices of crops and crop protection products, and weather reports.
To date, more than 7,000 farmers have benefitted from this initiative which helps lay the foundation for an entrepreneurial, market-based agricultural sector, in which farmers are linked to the wider national and international markets.